may screen anti-Bush ad during Super Bowl

NEW YORK - An ad showing children working in menial jobs to pay off America's burgeoning debt could be shown during the Super Bowl next month, one of the most watched events on US television.

The ad was the winner of a competition to create a 30-second commercial critical of George W Bush's presidency.

Called "child's play", the ad shows children working in difficult jobs, washing dishes, cleaning offices and repairing tyres, with the tagline "Guess who's going to pay off President Bush's $1 trillion deficit?". It was created by Charlie Fisher, a 38-year-old from Denver, Colorado., the campaigning organisation behind the competition, will screen the ad nationwide between January 17 and 21, coinciding with the President's State of the Union address on January 20.

It could also show the ad during the Super Bowl XXXVIII next month. There are still spots remaining, although the organisation could have to pay more than $2m (£1.1m) for a 30-second slot.

Overall, will spend as much as $15m to buy time on TV stations in battleground states where the vote could have swung either way in the 2000 Presidential election.

But the high cost did not deter it last year, after 700,000 supporters donated money online to buy a slot so that could screen an anti-war ad.

"A lot of people are gravely concerned about the direction President Bush is taking our country," executive director Peter Schurman said. "A lot of people have found creative, witty, poignant and powerful ways to express that concern."

The winner of this year's anti-Bush campaign was decided by a panel of celebrities including Oscar-winning film director Michael Moore, the musician Moby, Michael Stipe of REM, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, actor Jack Black and the comedienne and actress Janeane Garofalo.

Super Bowl XXXVIII takes place in Houston, Texas on February 1.

Earlier the competition was mired in controversy when two entrants posted on the website equated Bush's statements with Adolf Hitler.

The ads were denounced by Republicans and others and eventually pulled.

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